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Devnote Tuesday: New Format!

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<figure data-orig-width="480" data-orig-height="92" class="tmblr-full"><img src="http://41.media.tumblr.com/d7742ffeeb1a06286bc834ec48a63051/tumblr_inline_ntncxqS3tZ1rr2wit_540.jpg" alt="image" data-orig-width="480" data-orig-height="92"/></figure><p>Hi everyone and welcome to a newly formatted devnote! This week we’re consolidating everyone’s news into one article to improve readability, we hope you like it.</p><p>It’s been a hectic week at Squad, the Xbox announcement received a ton of attention in the games media and the first information on KSP’s next patch seems to have blown a lot of people out of the water. We are proud of Daniel’s work, he did the Xbox One animation trailer, it’s the fastest animation he have made, with only one week to prep it. .On top of all that we’ve seen the year’s largest community-organised event (KPE 3) raise over $17,000 for charity: water. We’re proud of our community for many reasons, and this event proved that is rightly so.</p><blockquote><p><i><b>“ Co-hosting KPE 3 on Friday (with Ted), Saturday and Sunday was definitely a highlight in my week. â€Â, -Kasper (KasperVld)</b></i></p></blockquote><p>On the development side, this week has been spent filling in holes, fixing bugs, and revising the new UI systems. Felipe has been focussing on the staging interface and the orbit splines. For the latter we use an external tool called Vectrosity, which handles drawing lines on screen. It seems that just like Kerbal Space Program, Vectrosity was overhauled for the new Unity UI system, which means that a lot has changed with it now, which in turn means that our orbits are all messed up and need fixing. This is a good opportunity to rewrite the code that draws the orbit, as it’s never been one of the most efficient parts of the game.</p><p>We’re really happy about the decision to push the Unity 5 upgrade to it’s own distinct patch. Mike and Felipe especially put a lot of time and work to get KSP running on Unity 5, and we feel it’ll be great to be able to run and profile the two games back-to-back both and get a good measure of the performance tweaks. </p><blockquote><p><i><b>“ We are so very close to having a QA worthy build of the new patch. Very excited to see it finished and out the door! †-Mike (Mu)</b></i></p></blockquote><p>After last week’s Squadcast there have been questions about how exactly multithreaded PhysX will work in Kerbal Space Program, One of the biggest improvements is that is optimized for multi-threaded processing. The short answer is, we aren’t sure how it’ll work exactly. The insides of PhysX are hardcoded deep under Unity’s hood, which means we have very little access to it from our end. </p><blockquote><p><i><b>“ Our own code hasn’t changed to support multithreaded physics simulation, so how exactly it will handle KSP objects like multi-rigidbody vessels, is not something we can see in detail.†-Felipe (HarvesteR)</b></i></p></blockquote><p>There also seems to be some confusion about the difference between the terms multi-threading and multi-core. When we talk about cores, we are generally talking about hardware. Software, however, deals with threads. Threads and Cores are related, but they are different concepts altogether. Threads are virtual, abstract entities used by software to split their workload for separate. Cores are the hardware used to actually process multiple threads at the same time.</p><p>What this means for KSP is that there’s no way to know which CPU cores will get used for any given vessel, part, or anything along those lines, and we’re also not sure how simulation is split into separate threads. The way PhysX handles its multithreaded execution is internal to PhysX, and we don’t really get to see behind those curtains… That’s not a bad thing though. We get to focus on making the game on top of the physics engine, and PhysX handles the low-level simulation/computation stuff.</p>

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Interesting. Should be interesting to see how it goes hehe.

Been thinking all day. I prefer the old style dev notes thus ends my edit

Edited by Higgs

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As I said on twitter, not really keen on this new layout. I liked seeing what each individual dev had to say about their own work over the previous week, really. It was easier to digest that way rather than picking apart a single block covering it all.

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Woah! I'm a fan of whatever is easiest on the team. Though I have to say I do enjoy reading what everyone has to say individually.

#savethemagicboulder

Edited by Avera9eJoe

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As I said on twitter, not really keen on this new layout. I liked seeing what each individual dev had to say about their own work over the previous week, really. It was easier to digest that way rather than picking apart a single block covering it all.

I agree here, I liked the previous format better where the dev talked about what they did.

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heh, I don't post much, mostly read. but its nice the work is coming together without too much trouble, as to multi platform I might pick up the Ps4 copy in s few months, ( yay for xmas gifts to self) also looking forward to how long mods for the pc version will take ( looking at you Roverdude and your UKS creations) still to quote miss pinkamina diane pie ' fun! fun! fun! fun! fun!'

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I would have to agree. Not that this layout is bad or anything, but knowing what everyone did as an individual is much handier. If this is easier to write, keep it this way. You guys are the developers and you have the final say in things.

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heh, I don't post much, mostly read. but its nice the work is coming together without too much trouble, as to multi platform I might pick up the Ps4 copy in s few months, ( yay for xmas gifts to self) also looking forward to how long mods for the pc version will take ( looking at you Roverdude and your UKS creations) still to quote miss pinkamina diane pie ' fun! fun! fun! fun! fun!'

Interested myself on that front :)

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I would have to agree. Not that this layout is bad or anything, but knowing what everyone did as an individual is much handier. If this is easier to write, keep it this way. You guys are the developers and you have the final say in things.

I would also agree, with this caveat: if ya'll think this new format saves roughly 5 developer hours or more per week, then I'm for it.

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Hmm, what I liked about the old layout was being able to not read the whole thing, I could just pick the devs I was interested in and read their piece, since I don't really care what Dan gets up to with his animations, or what Kasper has to say about the community, or Max talking about how he can't talk about anything. Now I have to read all of it, and the quotes seem very "magazine-article" inspired, rather than devs talking to their users. If that's what you were going for, then you nailed it.

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New layout feels kind of like a cop out in order to write less but that could just be the lack of news. We'll have to see how it holds up over time.

Nice to see some clarification over the cores/threads debate.

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The new layout makes sense. I can't be the only one who detected a hint of annoyance from the Dev's everytime Tuesday rolled around. They've dropped plenty of hints that they don't like doing it, and honestly the way they were written was always seemed like it was just a chore to be done; often bare-bones and never inspired.

Besides, now that the devs are off the hook for the 10 minutes it would take to update us on their work, we can get these devnotes out in record time! Normally they come out in the afternoon, but this one was ready at 12pm. Efficiency â–²!

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Not a huge fan of the new layout either. It was nice to have a rundown of what each developer had been working on for the week. I understand it's a chore to write 10 to 15 sentences on what was worked on, but it seemed much less a broad swipe and much more informative on what's been going on. Also have to agree with hoojiwana above that the quotes seem like a "magazine-article" or "tagline" quote rather than telling us anything of much use...almost 24-hour news network-like.

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Another vote here for "preferred the old layout because we got to see who was doing what, but I'm fine with the new one if it's easier on the devs".

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I'm yet another user who preferred the old layout. This new one feels a lot more disconnected from the devs since it's been edited and condensed into a single PR post. Ultimately it's up to the devs to decide how they want to keep us updated though, and I can understand how this new style would be easier on them than having to come up with a paragraph every week.

Anyways, I'm very glad to hear how the new patch is progressing, it sounds like it's given the devs the opportunity to update a lot of old code that really needed to be updated anyways. I agree that making Unity 5 its own patch was very much the right thing to do (the new parts are just icing on the cake), and I'm excited to hear how close it is to QA.

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Can't wait for this update!

The new format does seem sleek and easier to read but, on the other hand, I seem to have less information from it. But maybe it's just my impression... :)

I understand that it might be hard to figure out what's happening under the PhysX hood, but what I'd really love to know is if anyone at squad made/could make a simple benchmark. Have a heavy ship (300+ or 400+ parts) run in version 1.0.4 and 1.1 on the same computer (one with multiple cores and/or threads) to see if there is a/how much is the performance increase.

If things run better I really don't care what happens behind the curtains... :-P

Other then that I'm really excited for what wonders U5 can bring and the new parts and systems have me on my toes! This looks like a killer update for which I can't wait! :D

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I like the new layout. I agree it was a bit thin on the ground in terms of actual news, but it's better than (for example) Max: nothing I can talk about. Ted: nothing I can talk about - etc.

Not that I'm saying Max and Ted don't do anything, that was just an example!

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You guys should hire a proofreader for your devnotes and other "official" announcement formats. I won't try and police your tweets and forum posts, of course, but uh... lemme sum this up:

You shouldn't use run on sentences they are hard to read.

In that light I volunteer. I concede that I don't have professional experience in the field of copy editing (yet) but I can assure you I'm really good at it, and I can't be the only one here raising an eyebrow over your grammatical issues.

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I dont like the new format I prefer to read the success and fails from each Dev, the condensed format doesn't really shed much light on whats going on

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I just like updates in written form.

As for the format, a few sentences doesn't take 10 mins to write each, it breaks flow, is a deadline, a chore that the devs obviously don't enjoy (I'm sure they enjoy us giving positive feedback and appreciation) and so have employed a local in Mexico to listen by the watercooler during the week and their normal scheduled meetings. This devnote explains what Andrea (Badie) has been doing all week! Good job.

I would like a list of developers and a two word update of projects each week just to remind us of yhe awesome people. ie Harv: unity 5 debugging.

Peace.

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I too prefer the older Devnotes format, as it contained much more information from each and every developer, and was easier to read through than this magazine format.

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